The playoffs are winding down, the underclassman declaration deadline has passed, the Shrine Bowl is this weekend....the signs are pointing towards it being that time of year again: draft season. The time of year where draft nerds like myself go into an online pseudo-hibernation where we spend far, far too much time scrounging for info on the stock of various prospects and the draft strategies of the NFL's general managers. Furthermore, since the draft is a couple weeks later this year, the draft hibernation promises to be longer and more maddening than any of the previous ones before it. Let me begin my slow, dark descent into draft madness by entertaining all you happy dappy football enthusiasts with version 2 of my 2014 NFL mock draft.
1. Texans: Teddy Bridgewater/QB (Louisville)
I'm not saying there's zero chance the Texans will take Jadeveon Clowney with the #1 pick, but the franchise is under new management at head coach, and as well all know: new regimes mean new quarterbacks. The question is more so when they will draft a QB than whether they will. Right now I'm a subscriber to the theory that the Texans will talk themselves into taking a QB in a good class. As with any QB who has been long-considered to be the top of a class, scouts and analysts will get bored and try to say somebody else (Manziel, Bortles) is the top QB, but when the combine and pro days roll by and the tape is watched, I believe Bridgewater will emerge to keep this place. When I watch him play, I think he has the greatest abilities and the football smarts to back it up. The Texans still have a lot of talent on their roster, but taking a piece like Bridgewater is far more likely to return them to their winning ways than a defensive end.
TRADE: Rams trade pick 2 and their 7th round pick to Cleveland for picks 4, 26, 102, and Cleveland's 7th round pick. Unless the draft stock of some player drastically changes to benefit the Rams, I don't see any way they hold onto the #2 pick. The team has several needs left to fill and the players who fit at #2 right now currently aren't situated terribly well. The players to be taken there are Clowney, Bortles, Manziel and Matthews. The team could take Matthews, but there are other first-round tackles that would be fine options. Bortles and Manziel obviously won't be plausible, and in spite of what a lot of people here think, picking Clowney would not be particularly wise. He's an unbelievable prospect, but he's at the position where the Rams already have maybe the best pair in the league and plenty of depth. We still have too many needs to necessitate a pure luxury pick when there will be a big market for the pick. As for the Browns, word is that they're smitten with one Johnathan Football, so much so that some reported Chudzinski's firing had something to do with his evaluation of him. It seems like a big bounty for a two-spot jump, but with the Jaguars hungry for a franchise QB, the Browns may feel so insecure that they will pay up to ensure they get their man. Besides, the Browns have a solid wealth of picks, including two first-rounders.
2. Browns (from Redskins via Rams)- Johnny Manziel/QB (Texas A&M)
And the Browns get their guy. Anyone who is completely convinced one way or another that Manziel will be successful or not in the NFL doesn't know what they're talking about. He isn't a safe pick by any means and there is a great deal of uncertainty. I am concerned more with the way he carries that ball and making the adjustment to playing against NFL defenses than the off-the-field issues, which don't really concern me all that much. That being said, he is a uniquely talented QB who a long-time losing franchise will gladly take the gamble on for his potential to be a game-changer. Some people compare him to a Rusell Wilson or Robert Griffin or Colin Kaepernick, but that's not the type of mobile QB he is. The player he reminds me of, so much so in fact that it's scary, is Fran Tarkenton. He is not the tallest or strongest QB out there, but what he has is creativity in the pocket to keep plays alive and avoid pass rushers until a receiver opens up. As far a his arm goes, he has a quick release and puts plenty of zip on the ball. While his success in the NFL is far from a guarantee, his talent alone will make some team fall head over heels for him, with the Browns being a likely suitor.
TRADE: Jacksonville trades Pick 3 to Philadelphia for Pick 22, Pick 54, Pick 86, a 2015 1st Rounder, and a 2015 3rd Rounder. If Jadeveon Clowney is available at #3, there will be a mob of teams offering up huge bounties for Jacksonville's pick. Jacksonville could just take Clowney themselves, but their need for a quarterback is too hard to ignore. That being said, what they need even more than a quarterback is bulk talent in general. If a team like Philly puts this offer out on the table, it's hard to imagine them passing it up. I had a hard time deciding which team would offer the most between Philly, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Atlanta, San Francisco, and the Jets, but I went with Philly in the end. They don't have just a ton of draft needs and are close to contention, but some have suggested they will try very hard to take a dynamic defensive player. Ultimately, I think it could come down to them, Atlanta, and San Francisco, but the Eagles may be the most willing to pay it forward.
3. Eagles (from Jaguars): Jadeveon Clowney/DE/OLB (South Carolina)
If the Eagles really do want a dynamic defensive player, this is definitely a guy who fits the bill. It's far too early to be declaring him a once-in-a-generation player, just as it is for any player who hasn't yet taken a professional snap. However, Clowney, as a prospect, is rare. There isn't much to say about his talent that hasn't been said already. Don't let the issue of "taking snaps off" early in the season scare you away. The fact of the matter is that the guy wants to be a pro player, so it's hard to imagine him not putting in a solid effort once he's drafted.
TRADE: Rams trade Pick 4 and Pick 102 to Minnesota for Pick 8 and Pick 40. Boom! The Rams trade down yet again! It may seem insane and I'll admit this is a dream scenario, but it's becoming obvious now that Les Snead absolutely loves trading draft picks. The Rams could take Jake Matthews or Sammy Watkins at 4, but there will be a market for at least one team wanting to leapfrog over Oakland for a shot at Blake Bortles. The Vikings are a good candidate to trade up, because they have a big need at QB, but they will worry that the Raiders will take Bortles and they will have to reach at 8 for somebody like Derek Carr (in fact, if they can't pull a deal, they may try to trade down). According to the Draft Value Chart (which I used to craft all of these trades) indicates the bounty for this pick won't be nearly as much as the previous two, but the Rams in this scenario still manage to flip two picks they acquired from Cleveland to move down 4 spots to pick #8 and acquire an additional 2nd round pick.
4. Vikings (from Browns via Rams) Blake Bortles/QB (UCF)
First of all, let me say it's surprisingly difficult to find a good on-the-field picture of Blake Bortles because if you google image search him in a number of different keyword combinations, at least half of the results you get every time are of his girlfriend (I'll give you all a minute while you inevitably look, and another minute while you gawk at the screen). The fact of the matter is that the Vikings have some talent on their roster, but absolutely need a new QB to thrive. Their offense is based around Adrian Peterson, but developing an efficient passing game will take some of the stress off of AP which will keep him healthy and perhaps prolong his career. Blake Bortles seems like the real deal, and right now is the last of the three QBs worthy of taking in the top 10.
5. Raiders: Sammy Watkins/WR (Clemson)
If one of the top three quarterbacks are here the Raiders may want to snag him up, but if not it probably won't kill them to wait until the 2nd or 3rd round for one. Here, the Raiders can afford to take their favorite of Watkins, Jake Matthews, and Anthony Barr. If that favorable situation presents itself, I think the Raiders will go with Watkins. Having a playmaker at wide receiver will be a huge boost to Oakland's offense, and Watkins certainly is that. His athleticism and versatility make him the best receiver in the draft this year.
6. Falcons: Jake Matthews/OT (Texas A&M)
Talk about things working out favorably for Atlanta. Without having to trade up, in this situation, they get a choice between Matthews and Anthony Barr, two players who would arguably be near the top of their board anyway. I go with Matthews here because Arthur Blank has suggested he wants to take an offensive lineman in the first round. Matthews, a natural left tackle, is the best lineman in the class and would shore up Matt Ryan's blind side for years to come.
7. Buccaneers: Anthony Barr/OLB (UCLA)
The Buccaneers in this mock are also huge beneficiaries of all the wheeling and dealing. They may consider moving up for Clowney, but by staying put they get a huge steal in Anthony Barr, who is another excellent edge-rushing prospect. The Bucs' outside pass rush was largely anemic last year, and putting some pressure on the quarterback from the outside would be beneficial for all three levels of their defense. Barr, who remarkably has come from being a backup fullback to emerging as a star outside linebacker for UCLA, is a surefire top 10 pick this spring. He would give Tampa's D exactly what it needs to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable.
8. Rams (from Vikings): Greg Robinson/OT (Auburn)
Here, the Rams finally settle on a pick they like. You might be surprised to see Greg Robinson this high right now, but signs are pointing to him moving his way up draft boards as the process continues. Daniel Jeremiah listed him as a prospect creating "a ton of buzz with NFL scouts/execs" and Matt Miller reported that a scout responsible for evaluating Eric Fisher last year grades Robinson more highly. I still consider Matthews the top tackle, but Robinson has leapfrogged Taylor Lewan as the second best at the position. For the Rams, tackle may or may not be a draft need. There is no indication yet whether or not Rodger Saffold will be retained. Jake Long is entrenched as the franchise left tackle for at least a couple more years, but his injury history makes it so that looking for a future replacement now isn't such a bad idea. Until then, if Saffold leaves or moves to guard permanently, Robinson can create even better protection for Sam Bradford.
9. Bills: Mike Evans/WR (Texas A&M)
The Bills have two pretty good options at receiver in Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods, but could use an even better option to go along with them if they want E.J. Manuel to develop into who they want him to be. Mike Evans, a basketball player turned wide receiver, would be a huge boost to Buffalo's aerial attack. He has great hands and body control, but his strength, the best I've seen in a wide receiver with his athleticism in quite awhile, is what sets him apart. His route-running and ball-carrying skills need improvement, but these issues can be coached out.
10. Lions: Justin Gilbert/CB (Oklahoma St.)
Detroit's secondary was once again a huge weak spot this year. Getting some fresh, top-line talent at the corner spot would be an immense help in a division where they have to face the likes of Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Cordarrelle Patterson. Gilbert had a monstrous year at Oklahoma State, and grades out currently by many to be the top corner in the draft this year. The Lions have deeper needs on defense, but corner is the most glaring and taking Gilbert at #10 is a great place to start.
11. Titans: Khalil Mack/OLB (Buffalo)
This would be an amazing steal for Tennessee. Pass rush is perhaps their biggest need. They need someone else to put some pressure on the quarterback so teams can't simply double-team Derick Morgan. Khalil Mack is a fantastic edge rushing prospect who is unfortunate to be in the same class with Clowney and Barr, otherwise he'd be a surefire top 10 pick. He not only uses creative finesse maneuvers to get by blockers, he has great strength and speed to simply blow by offensive players when necessary. Not only did he dominate his own conference, but played up when Buffalo faced bigger conference foes, as evidenced by the way he tore up Ohio State. That game tape will be huge for him. He seems like a natural terror rushing the quarterback and would be a major asset to the Titans.
12. Giants: Taylor Lewan/OT (Michigan)
The Giants also make out pretty well here. Despite seeing his stock slip a tad this year, Lewan is still a great tackle prospect with the talent to man a team's blind side in the NFL. Tall and strong with a big wingspan, Lewan has a the prototypical build for an NFL tackle, with good feet and hands to match. In Michigan's bowl game last year against South Carolina, Jadeveon Clowney got the last laugh with one of the most famous college highlight plays of all time, but Lewan actually blocked Clowney well all day (on that particular play, if I recall, a different Wolverine blocker was assigned to Clowney). Justin Pugh doesn't seem like an NFL left tackle, while Will Beatty was having a tough year before breaking his leg late in the season. Drafting Lewan could allow the Giants to shift their line around to quell some of the uncertainty in front of Eli Manning.
13. Rams: HaHa Clinton-Dix/S (Alabama)
This pick has been done a million times by mock drafters, but I'll keep making it until it stops making sense. The front lines of the Rams' defense is solid, but the secondary needs help. In particular, there is a big need for safety. The type of safety the Rams could really use is a rangy, center fielder type to match up with the physical T.J. McDonald. Ha'Sean "HaHa" Clinton-Dix fits that mold very well. He is extremely fast and athletic so that he can cover plenty of ground, but also possesses great field vision. Against SEC opponents, he had a good season, collecting 45 tackles, 2 picks, and 4 pass breakups. He had his worst game against Auburn. Auburn didn't torch him by any means, but turned him around on some deep routes. Against the talented young receivers of Ole Miss, however, he was in lockdown mode, disrupting pass lanes and collecting 8 tackles. Clinton-Dix may not be quite as talented as other recent first-round safeties like Eric Berry, but is the best in this draft and fits the range well at 13.
14. Bears: Louis Nix III/DT (Notre Dame)
This would be another solid value pick. Defensive tackle may not be as big of a need for Chicago as safety or corner, but with Henry Melton likely walking in free agency, Nix might be too good to pass up. Simply put, Nix is a nightmare in the middle of the defensive line. He makes for Chicago, because he looks like a Kodiak bear in pads. His numbers weren't eye-popping this year, but teams often double teamed him or ran away from him. He had one of his biggest games against Michigan, who tried to gameplan around him. In spite of this, Nix managed to collect 4 tackles, including one TFL. For a Bears defensive front that is starting to replace some of its key pieces, Nix would be a huge addition.
15. Steelers: Ra'Shede Hageman/DE (Minnesota)
As a Rams fan, it was hard for me to mock Ra'Shede Hageman to another team because I like him so much. Despite facing double teams much of the year, Hageman recorded 38 tackles, 13 TFL, 2 sacks, 7 passes broken up, and an interception to boot. His explosiveness off the ball is almost unmatched in college football. A former tight end, he has tons of natural athleticism for the position. He's flexible enough to play all across the board on the defensive line, but if the Steelers draft him, he'll probably play the down end spot in the 3-4. The Steelers have a need at the spot, because even though Cameron Hayward played well this year, Ziggy Hood continued to fail to live up to his potential. Hageman would be a good fit on the Steelers defense as they continue to build on to the young core of players on that side of the ball.
16. Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan/DT (Florida St.)
The run on defensive linemen continues with Timmy Jernigan being taken by the Cowboys. Interior defensive line was a huge issue for Dallas all season, and to make matters worse, Jason Hatcher likely won't be back. They may sign a free agent, but should definitely draft another. Jernigan has a lot of upside, looking very impressive all season for the national champion Seminoles. He totaled 63 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 11 TFL in 2013. In the BCS title game against Auburn he had a great start, but missed a lot of snaps late in the game. Some questioned his conditioning, but it later surfaced that he was playing with the flu and his medication sapped much of his energy.
17. Ravens: Marqise Lee/WR (USC)
The Ravens need another starting wideout option, and Marqise Lee provides solid value at pick 17. Jacoby Jones is a fine receiver and return specialist, but Baltimore could do better if they want Joe Flacco to continue to thrive. Lee had a rough start in 2013 when USC's quarterback situation (and program in general) was a mess, but later in the year he returned to form. In the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State, Lee caught 7 balls for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has blazing speed and should wow at the combine, plus he possesses solid hands and route-running abilities. The Ravens would benefit greatly from having a weapon like Lee on their offense.
18. Jets: Eric Ebron/TE (UNC)
If the Jets really want Geno Smith to progress into their starter of the future, they need to surround him with more receiving options. The top 3 receivers are all off the board here, so the Jets get something perhaps just as good: a player some scouts are calling the cleanest tight end prospect since Vernon Davis, as reported by Matt Miller. The Jets missed the presence of Dustin Keller at tight end last year, and Ebron not only would replace him but would likely be an upgrade for the future. His speed creates a mismatch against almost all linebackers, and his size will make it tough for safeties to stop him. Unlike some other very athletic tight ends, Ebron can line up both outside and inside in the traditional tight ends. In fact, he can even line up at h-back if necessary. Ebron would quickly become a favorite target for Geno Smith.
19. Dolphins: Antonio Richardson/OT (Tennessee)
While Tennessee's football program has struggled recently, they continue to produce some good offensive line prospects, including Antonio Richardson this year. Richardson, a mammoth 6'6", 332 lb. tackle, had a good year for the Volunteers, matching up well against some of the best SEC pass rushers. While he struggled against Florida, Richardson looked good against a number of other ends, especially those from Missouri and Alabama. Against South Carolina, Richardson blocked Jadeveon Clowney well, holding him from making a sack. For his size, Richardson has impressive feet and moves well laterally. Tackle is a need for Miami, as they need to keep Ryan Tannehill protected if they want him to progress. Richardson would certainly benefit that cause and provides good value at pick 19.
20. Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio/OT (Alabama)
A team even more needy for an offensive tackle than Miami is Arizona. Blind-side protection continues to plague the Cardinals and hold back their offense. Especially with Levi Brown being traded to the Steelers, expect Arizona to look into a cornerstone tackle. Kouandjio might wind up being a steal at this juncture. He entered Alabama's program as an extremely highly touted recruit, and showed his promise once he got a chance to start. On potential alone, he could be a top 10 pick, but hurt his draft stock in 2013. He got off to a rocky start to the season with multiple holding calls against Virginia Tech, but settled in and played well most of the season, including a huge performance against LSU. However, he ended his collegiate career and an exceedingly sour note against Oklahoma, a game where Eric Striker tore Kouandjio apart. Kouandjio might have been better off returning to school, but could rehash some of his draft stock by showcasing his talents well at the combine and his pro day. If he does well, I could definitely see him being taken in the 18-25 range.
21. Packers: Jace Amaro/TE (Texas Tech)
This is shaping up to be a legendary tight end class, and the Packers just so happen to possibly be in the market for a replacement for Jermichael Finley. Amaro burst onto the scene for Texas Tech this year and is considered by most to be the second tight end prospect behind Eric Ebron. He put up some eye-popping performances this season, including a 15 catch, 174 yard outing against Oklahoma State. The guy creates tons of mismatches with his speed and has the hands and body control to go along with it. His threat to run straight seam routes has to scare NFL linebackers. His biggest issue is an off the field concern, as he was arrested in 2012. However, he seems to have behaved himself much better since then. While the Packers' run game came around last year, their passing game is still the basis of their offense, and they can't have too many targets for Aaron Rodgers. Amaro would be a huge asset.
22. Jaguars (from Eagles): Derek Carr/QB (Fresno St.)
With the Jaguars' first pick from their mock trade with the Eagles, they land their quarterback of the future. Derek Carr, brother of former bust David Carr, may not be up there with Bridgewater, Manziel, and Bortles, but I feel confident calling him the fourth best and worthy of a late first round pick. He has the intangibles you want in a quarterback, while also possessing a great balance of strength and accuracy. The concern with Carr is that he put up the numbers he did against a weak schedule, and in an important outing for him against USC, he had his worst game all year. USC's pressure seemed to make him uncomfortable, forcing his accuracy to dip. Still, Carr's natual abilities will make him appealing, especially to a team like Jacksonville that isn't ready to contend just yet.
23. Chiefs: Kelvin Benjamin/WR (Florida St.)
Despite what ESPN people will have you think, Alex Smith is fairly limited compared to other NFL starting quarterbacks. This isn't to say that he doesn't deserve to start or anything like that, just that he need a really good supporting cast. The Chiefs have some nice pieces on offense, but could still use another quality starting receiver across from Dwayne Bowe. Kelvin Benjamin is a prospect I really like. First of all, he's huge, 6'5", 234, but still has a the speed to take the top off a defense. In the read zone he's nothing short of deadly in the red zone, as demonstrated on the winning play of the BCS Championship game where he got up and flat-out overmatched Auburn's Chris Davis. The Chiefs have a good future ahead of them if they can keep healthy, but someone like Benjamin would help their offense be even better.
Ideally, the Bengals may target a corner here, but C.J. Mosley might be too good of value at 24 to a team that needs linebacker help too. Cincinnati has some talent at the position but could stand to do better, and Mosley has the versatility to start at any of the three spots. Mosley has been exceptionally consistent for Alabama over the years and did not have a single down game this year. Against LSU, he was a dominant playmaker on defense and was around the ball all game. He displays a good balance of speed and physicality with the natural instincts and vision necessary to thrive at linebacker. He's just one of those players who does everything well, and it would be shocking if no team snatched him up in the first round.
25. Chargers: Kony Ealy/DE/OLB (Missouri)
The Chargers here take the same route as the Bengals the pick before: taking a player that may not be at their biggest need, but is too much of a steal to pass up. In my evaluation, Kony Ealy could go as high as 10, so to have him available at 25 is outstanding value. Ealy was a disruptive force for Mizzou's defense on the edge all year and caused problems for a number of NFL prospect linemen in the SEC. He has a good balance of strength and speed that helps him get around blockers in a number of ways. Ideally because of his frame, Ealy might actually fit best as an end a 4-3, but going to a 3-4 team like the Chargers presents some interesting options. They would likely try first to fit him as an outside linebacker, but if his skill set doesn't work out there, he might be able to add a little more bulk to his frame and play the down end spot for them instead, which is a position that also could stand an upgrade.
26. Rams (from Colts via Browns): Darqueze Dennard/CB (Michigan St.)
With their third first round pick (can you tell a Rams fan wrote this?) St. Louis could go a few different ways. The way this plays out, Darqueze Dennard is one of the best players available and fits a need. Cortland Finnegan regressed mightily this year and looks like he could very well be a cap casualty in the offseason. The Rams have Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, but in today's NFL it takes more than just two good corners. Dennard was fantastic this year as the ring leader of a Spartans secondary nicknamed the "No Fly Zone." He doesn't have the blazing speed of some other corners, but plays extremely tough and manages to stick with even the speediest receivers. In 2013, he broke up ten passes and intercepted four passes while facing the #1 receiver of every team the Spartans played. The Rams need to put a lot into improving their secondary, and taking the pair of HaHa Clinton-Dix and Darqueze Dennard would be a great start.
27. Saints: Trent Murphy/OLB (Stanford)
The Saints have a great team but could improve a few ways on defense, starting with putting more pressure on the quarterback. Playing in the NFC South, the Saints could really use a player on defense to disrupt Matt Ryan and keep Cam Newton contained. Murphy has the potential to be that guy. he has good enough size and strength to take on blockers head-to-head, but also the quickness to get around them if necessary. On top of that, he plays well against the run and has the speed to drop into coverage when necessary. If the Saints are serious about improving on the defensive side of the ball, Murphy would be a nice, safe pick to work towards that goal.
28. Panthers: Jordan Matthews/WR (Vanderbilt)
The Panthers are a franchise unquestionably headed in the right direction, but could still improve in some areas. One of those areas is receiver. Steve Smith continues to defy his age and be productive, but the clock is still ticking on him, and the Panthers could still use more talent to pair with him. There's some debate over who the fifth best receiver is in this draft, but Jordan Matthews has impressed me every time I've watched him play. He caught 112 passes this year 1,477 yards and seven TDs despite drawing a lot of double teams. He's a polished route-runenr with great hands. The only thing that may hurt him is if he doesn't run well at the Combine, but even with just a decent 40 time his skills as a possession guy may get a team like Carolina to fall in love with him.
29. Patriots: Austin Seferian-Jenkins/TE (Washington)
Three tight ends in the first round is extremely rare, but this is no ordinary tight end class. The Patriots could use a new tight end talent since one of their tight ends spends as much time in surgery as on the field, and the other is scrawling Tom Brady love poems into the wall of his prison cell at the moment. The golden boy loves throwing to athletic tight ends, and ASF fits that mold. He was the unquestioned top prospect at the position before the rise of Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro, but is still a first round talent. He has the size and speed to be a mismatch for linebackers, and has also come a long way as a blocker. Last spring, a DUI did some damage to his reputation, but that probably won't be enough to scare away the Pats.
30. 49ers: Stephon Tuitt/DE (Notre Dame)
Defensive end isn't the biggest need for the Niners, but they have enough picks in the first 3 rounds they can afford to make a pure value pick like this. Besides, they could use a potential successor for Justin Smith. Tank Carradine might be that guy, but Stephon Tuitt is an even better prospect. Tuitt didn't have the strongest year which hurt his draft stock some, but he has surefire first-round talent. He has the perfect combination of strength and quickness to play the down end in the 3-4. In the NFC West, putting pressure on the quarterback is essential, and with a lot of picks but not many needs, this would be a solid value pick for the Niners.
31. Seahawks: Zack Martin/OL (Notre Dame)
The Seahawks, in spite of the level of talent throughout their roster, still need work in some places. First and foremost, they need to boost their offensive line. Russell Wilson has shown to be less efficient when under a lot of pressure, and in a division with the likes of Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, and John Abraham this is a constant threat. Zack Martin could be immediately plugged into the right side of the line and help give Wilson more time in the pocket. He put out a number of strong performances towards the end of the year that has boosted his draft stock into first-round consideration. His best performance came against Trent Murphy wherein Martin completely shut him down. He could be plugged in immediately at right tackle, and if he doesn't work out there, he could even switch to guard.
32. Broncos: Ryan Shazier/LB (Ohio St.)
Denver had a lot of trouble stopping the run this year, largely due to the struggles of Wesley Woodyard and Paris Lenon. That coupled with Von Miller's injury troubles means Denver could use some young talent at linebacker to improve on defense. Shazier is a prospect I really like. He plays extremely fast and is excellent at breaking plays before they can develop. He looks great defending screens, which would be huge in a division with the Chiefs as opponents twice a year. He may need to add some size, but his rare speed and instinctiveness would make him a great value pick for the Broncos at 32.
33. Texans: Scott Crichton/OLB (Oregon St.)
34. Redkins: Marcus Roberson/CB (Florida)
35. Browns: Ka'Deem Carey/RB (Arizona)
36. Raiders: Tajh Boyd/QB (Clemson)
37. Falcons: Gabe Jackson/G (Mississippi St.)
38. Buccaneers: Xavier Su'a-Filo/G (UCLA)
39. Jaguars: Lache Seastrunk/RB (Baylor)
40. Rams (from Vikings): Allen Robinson/WR (Penn St.)
41. Bills: Cyril Richardson/G (Baylor)
42. Titans: Tre Mason/RB (Auburn)
43. Giants: Kyle Van Noy/OLB (BYU)
44. Rams: David Yankey/G (Stanford)
45. Lions: Travis Swanson/C (Arkansas)
46. Steelers: Loucheiz Purifoy/CB (Florida)
47. Cowboys: Kareem Martin/DE (UNC)
48. Ravens: James Hurst/OT (UNC)
49. Jets: Odell Beckham, Jr. (LSU)
TRADE: Dolphins trade Pick 50 and their 7th round pick to the Patriots for Pick 62 and Pick 93. This is just the type of trade that seems to happen in the second round. The Pats don't have many draft needs and would probably feel okay parting with an extra pick to move up and take a corner who has fallen unexpectedly far in Kyle Fuller, especially with several cornerback-needy teams in front of them. There isn't a perfect fit for the Dolphins here, and getting an extra third rounder should be appealing to them since they have several spots to fill.
50. Patriots (from Dolphins): Kyle Fuller.CB (Virginia Tech)
51. Bears: Dion Bailey/S (USC)
52. Cardinals: Troy Niklas/TE (Notre Dame)
53. Packers: Christian Jones/ILB (Florida St.)
54. Jaguars (from Eagles): Bryan Stork/C (Florida St.)
55. Bengals: Bradley Roby/CB (Ohio St.)
56. 49ers (from Chiefs): Davante Adams/WR (Fresno St.)
57. Chargers: Jason Verrett/CB (TCU)
58. Saints: Lamarcus Joyner/CB/S (Florida St.)
59. Colts: JuWaun James/OT (Tennessee)
60. Panthers: E.J. Gaines/CB (MIssouri)
61. 49ers: Calvin Pryor/S (Lousiville)
62. Dolphins (from Patriots): Ego Ferguson/DT (LSU)
63. Seahawks: Paul Richardson/WR (Colorado)
64. Broncos: Will Sutton/DL (Arizona St.)
65. Texans: Shayne Skov/ILB (Stanford)
66. Redkins: Yamin Smallwood/ILB (UConn)
67. Raiders: Bishop Sankey/RB (Washington)
68. Falcons: Demarcus Lawrence/DE (Boise St.)
TRADE: Jets trade Pick 69 and 2015 7th round pick to Rams for Pick 75 and 5th round pick. The third and final Rams trade. With so many picks accumulated and most draft needs covered, what the Rams might do in the 3rd round in this hypothetical is focus on one prospect and do whatever they can to get him. Defensive tackle is probably the biggest need still unmet, and coincidentally Anthony Johnson, a second-round prospect, has fallen into the third. While this isn't a big move up, if the Rams focus in on one prospect, it may be necessary to make it just so nobody takes that player first. With the number of picks the Rams have attained, a swap of 4th rounders and a 5th round pick isn't much of a price to pay. The Jets, who acquired pick 69 in the Darrelle Revis deal, need lots of defensive talent and see nobody hear they absolutely need, so moving down 6 to get an extra pick would be reasonable.
69. Rams (from Buccaneers via Jets): Anthony Johnson/DT (LSU)
70. Jaguars: Carl Bradford/OLB (Arizona St.)
71. Browns: Brandin Cooks/WR (Oregon St.)
72. Vikings: Aaron Colvin/CB (Oklahoma)
73. Bills: C.J. Fiedorowicz/TE (Iowa)
74. Giants: De'Anthony Thomas/RB/WR/KR (Oregon)
75. Jets (from Rams): Deone Bucannon/S (Washington St.)
76. Lions: Jarvis Landry/WR (LSU)
77. 49ers (from Titans): Jeremiah Attaochu/OLB (Georgia Tech)
78. Cowboys: Adrian Hubbard/OLB (Alabama)
79. Ravens: Marcus Martin/C (USC)
80. Jets: Jackson Jeffcoat/OLB (Texas)
81. Dolphins: Carlos Hyde/RB (Ohio St.)
82. Bears: Victor Hampton/CB (South Carolina)
83. Browns (from Steelers): Craig Loston/S (LSU)
84. Cardinals: Michael Sam/OLB (Missouri)
85. Packers: Tre Boston/S (UNC)
86. Jaguars (from Eagles): Dominique Easley/DE (Florida)
87. Chiefs: Aaron Donald/DE (Pitt)
88. Bengals: A.J. McCarron/QB (Alabama)
89. Chargers: George Uko/DE (USC)
90. Colts: Brandon Coleman/WR (Rutgers)
91. Saints: Jack Mewhort/OT (Ohio St.)
92. Panthers: Joel Bitonio/OT (Nevada)
93. Dolphins (from Patriots): Anthony Steen/G (Alabama)
94. 49ers: Pierre Desir/CB (Lindenwood)
95. Vikings (from Seahawks): Ed Reynolds/S (Stanford)
96. Broncos: Cameron Fleming/OT (Stanford)
97. Texans: Andre Williams/RB (Boston College)
98. Redskins: Josh Huff/WR (Oregon)
99. Falcons: DaQuan Jones/DT (Penn St.)
100. Buccaneers: Zach Mettenberger/QB (LSU)
101. Jaguars: Trai Turner/G (LSU)
102. VIkings (from Browns via Rams): Kelcy Quarles/DT (South Carolina)
103. Raiders: Ahmad Dixon/S (Baylor)
104. Vikings: Jared Abbrederis/WR (Wisconsin)
105. Bills: Ty Zimmerman/S (Kansas St.)
106. Rams: Jimmy Garoppolo/QB (Eastern Illinois)
107. Lions: Morgan Breslin/DE (USC)
108. Titans: Max Bullough/ILB (Michigan St.)
109. Giants: Xavier Grimble/TE (USC)
110. Jaguars (from Ravens): Vinnie Sunseri/S (Alabama)
111. Jets: Antone Exum/CB (Virginia Tech)
112. Dolphins: Rashaad Reynolds/CB (Oregon St.)
113. Bears: Dee Ford/OLB (Auburn)
114. Steelers: Donte Moncrief/WR (Ole Miss)
115. Cowboys: Kurtis Drummond/S (Michigan St.)
116. Cardinals: Brett Smith/QB (Wyoming)
117. Packers: Taylor Hart/DE (Oregon)
118. Eagles: Andre Hal/CB (Vanderbilt)
119. Bengals: Billy Turner/OT (North Dakota St.)
120. Chiefs: Marcus Smith/OLB (Louisville)
121. Chargers: Brandon Linder/G (Miami)
122. Saints: Chris Borland/ILB (Wisconsin)
123. Browns (from Colts): Lamin Barrow/ILB (LSU)
124. Panthers: Hakeem Smith/S (Louisville)
125. 49ers: Aaron Murray/QB (Georgia)
126. Patriots: Daniel McCullers/DT (Tennessee)
127. Seahawks: Marcel Jensen/TE (Fresno St.)
128. Broncos: Terrance Mitchell/CB (Oregon)
Well, there you have it. Some pretty crazy scenarios, some more realistic then others. Hopefully it's able to improve your day. I love feedback and welcome comments from fans of ALL teams. And feel free to be honest. I'll try to have another update sometime in February or early March. Thanks for reading!